Written by Isaac Archuleta, Executive Director for Spiritual and Relational Formation
Started as an online community more than fifteen years ago, Q Christian Fellowship is an intrepid organization serving as a refuge for LGBTQ+ Christians and their allies. Our history holds a beautiful legacy—a legacy that drove pivotal conversations and illuminated pertinent language as we became a community valuing diverse theologies and moral ethics. To strengthen our roots in such a rich heritage, this year’s conference will focus on how we all share in the essence of God, so that we may abide with one another in love without divisions.
Our conference scripture is Ephesians 4:2-5, which reads:
“…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism…”
Love Undivided has been chosen as this year’s theme, alongside Ephesians 4:2-5, because we see a great benefit in fostering an inclusive community that is non-binary and non-dualistic. Dualism separates people by distinguishing the “in” from “out,” the right from wrong, the clean from dirty. A community established on non-dualism, however, can live peacefully amid a relational paradox: differences create unity.
In Christ, we are one Q Christian family. We are called to demonstrate bold hospitality that nurtures a vibrantly diverse community, initiates personal growth, and inspires justice by creating relationships that value reconciliation and liberate the marginalized. Our action—as one body—requires Love Undivided.
During our time together in Chicago, you will hear voices representing different theological perspectives, different interpretations of the Bible, and different beliefs surrounding righteous behaviors. Some perspectives may be challenging to hear, and we won’t always agree with one another. Amidst the discomfort, we ask you to present your perspective with respect for those who hold different convictions. Please listen with compassion and love: love for God, love for yourself, and love for your neighbor. We ask you to speak with respect because Jesus calls us to radical love, even for those who might call themselves our enemies.
When it comes to serious matters such as sexual ethics, sexual orientation, and gender identity, many are trained to believe they defend God by disregarding, derogating, or even hating their theological opponent. This fact is nothing new for the LGBTQ+ community. Dualism will convince one they are emphatically right, deeming another empirically wrong. We have often experienced division within our families, churches, and politics because dualism is such a compelling force.
Love Undivided, however, with its non-dualistic intentions, not only deconstructs barriers that keep us from relational intimacy, it also fortifies connections to our neighbors—not by agreeing with their beliefs, but by cherishing who they are, from the inside out. Ultimately, Love Undivided prioritizes our position as God’s children above the tensions we bear and the paradoxes we struggle to embrace. We are truly of one God and one faith.
Whether your theology aligns with one side or another, it’s time to abide side-by-side and center ourselves around what centered Jesus: love for God and love for our neighbors. We are eager to journey with you as we grow in Love Undivided.
Our aim as the executive leadership of Q Christian is to create a conference atmosphere where we practice mutual respect of our differences, giving us the opportunity to experience stronger connectedness. Our goal is for everyone to walk away from conference cherishing one another’s God-created uniqueness in deeper, unifying ways. As a result, we will be better equipped to boldly enter into transformative vulnerability, eager to reach deeper layers of relational intimacy, and empowered to grow in greater self-acceptance.
The LGBTQ+ community has been affected by the power of divisions and dualism, but may we boldly demonstrate to the world how to Love Undivided. May we leave an everlasting impression of safety, acceptance, and belonging on all those who attend this year’s conference.
Questions for this week’s devotional:
How might Love Undivided be a challenging practice for you?
In what ways might you be craving for someone to cherish you with Love Undivided?
What personal dualisms might you like to address and overcome at conference?
Who has been your theological opponent and how might you be willing to listen with humility, gentleness, and patience, so as to make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace(Ephesians 4:2-5)?